Date

May 12, 2018

Area

Ulan Ude

Companion

Sister Dolinar

Hello from Buryatia!

Ok ok ok so I'm so sorry I feel like my last couple emails have been all over the place. But hopefully this will clear up what exactly is happening....
yes I'm still in Russia
Yes I'm also in Buryatia
yes I know all my pictures are me eating...good thing we walk everywhere!

Ok so basically I'm in the coolest place EVER
Ulan Ude is a city just south east of Lake Baikal. Everyone here is a Russian citizen. HOWEVER they are Buryatian! before Russia was over in Siberia who was here??
THE HUNS
the Huns controlled several settlements around the now Mongolian/Russian border. After they died out, a nation was born: Buryatia. Later, when Russia became St Petersburg all the way to the pacific ocean, Buryatia became part of Russia. They have their own language and most are Buddhists, and their culture is so cool. They got some crazy instruments and amazing dresses. They are NOT Mongolian, but they look very Mongolian. literally, the only restaurants that are here are Boosie restaurants. Its like a dumpling, and a member fed us homemade and WOW THEY ARE SO GOOD.
The work here is very different than in Irkutsk, so I am trying to adjust to it, but it is great! We meet with a lot of potentials, and members. Not really any less actives.
We got 2 new investigators! We dropped one because she is a crazy baub who is really just meeting with us because she wants to cook her food in the church, and the other one is the one that works every day all day :( We were able to meet with her on may 9th, because its a holiday here, and she came to our branch activity and LOVED it. said "I haven't had this much fun in a long time." we taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel she was loving it! She asked about BAPTISM and had some other questions for us, and said she wants to meet when she has time (she is a teacher so school is out at the en of May!) and she has a Book of Mormon and is reading it. Man that was easy!
The people her in general are amazing. They are SOOOO kind and I love them to death already. You really know they love you when they yell at you for not wearing tights and say you won't have children because of it. No really, that's a sign of love!
Oh man I didn't even get to talk about may 9th! AHHHH basically coolest holiday ever. I'll send some pics next week.
I love you all I'm so grateful that God knew me well enough to send to to Siberia. Everything about my mission seemed like the opposite of me. I love sun, culture, and kind smiling people. When you think of those three things you might think Brazil or something, but im telling you, when you get a Russian to smile, you have won and the cultures I have encountered on my mission (Russian, Korean, Chinese, Tai, Mongolian, Brazilian, Filipino, Japanese-to include some) has been the coolest experience ever. and here in Ulan Ude there is a saying "солначнайя Бурятиа" which means "sunny Buriatia."
I testify that God lives and loves each of you. He loves me and the people here too.
Happy Mothers day Mom! I LOVE YOU
Sister Wilcox




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